View Full Version : Just back from #5 2/18 Magic

02-28-2006, 09:33 AM
We just returned from the 2/18 Eastern, which was our 5th Disney cruise. We had a spectacular time. The weather was gorgeous, upper 70's to low 80's with plenty of sunshine everyday. We stayed at the Hyatt the night before, and used ****** Transportation for transport to/from the port. They were excellent. We also used the Hyatt to transfer our bags to the ship, and everything went smoothly. Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived at 12:00, checked in, and walked right on the ship to start our vacation. On sea days, we spent plenty of time at the pools with our children, participated in a variety of activities, and enjoyed all of the shows in the evening. This time, we liked Disney Dreams the best. We also did Palo brunch and dinner. We had 8 adults so we had the private room. Gemma was our waitress, and she was fantastic. Our regular dining room servers were Trefonio and Gerry. This was our 3rd cruise with Trefonio and second with Gerry. We requested them as they are fantastic, especially with all of the children in our party (10!)

In St. Maarten, we went horseback riding at Bayside stable (it was just our family which made it even more special). The ride along the beach, and in the water, was just fantastic. We then walked to Le Galion beach and met our friends. This was a very nice and family friendly beach. We then did some shopping in Phillipsburg, and then walked back to the ship. In St. Thomas, we took the Red Hook ferry to St. John and spent a few hours at Cinnamon Bay. It was a schlep to get there, and expensive (about $50.00 roundtrip for taxis and ferries), but we're very glad we did it. The natural, unspoiled beauty of St. John is breathtaking. On Castaway Cay, we did the stingray encounter. This was perfect for families with children, as it was far more educational and far less intimidating than Stingray city in Grand Cayman, though the snorkeling part of the excursion was not very interesting. Disembarkation on the last day was smoother than we ever experienced. I do believe that the staggered breakfast times on the last morning contributed to the ease of the disembarkation process, and fortunately we had the latest early breakfast time (7:00).

We also noticed that the ship seemed a bit less crowded than our other cruises, and this was confirmed by a few waiters and CM's who said that the ship was about 200 people short of capacity. This made getting preferable seats at Topsiders, scheduling hair braiding, Palo reservations, etc. a little easier than normal.

We will very likely sail Disney again for #6 because the experience is just so "magical." However, we're going to wait for a new itinerary, which will hopefully happen sooner rather than later.

Please feel free to ask any questions. Most of all, read this board as it is chock full of very helpful information.

Take care.

Evans Family
02-28-2006, 09:39 AM
How do you request servers? When is this done?


02-28-2006, 09:48 AM
How do you request servers? When is this done?


Ditto on this question!!!
Our server on our first cruise was downright scary :scared: . He was from Bulgaria and reminded us of Dracula....we would love to have an attentive server!!!

02-28-2006, 10:15 AM
I see you used Disney/Hyatt to transfer the luggage,
They do allow that? if you are not using the DCL transfers.. I was told they don't do that? We have our own transfers as well.

I'm sure for a cost Disney will do anything for you!

We too are staying at the Hyatt and just wanted to put the bags outside the door and not worry about them until the ship.


02-28-2006, 10:44 AM
Nice report, we enjoyed it, too.

02-28-2006, 12:06 PM
Re: requesting servers - we went to Rockin Bar D after we boarded and asked if our previous servers were still working on the ship, and whether they were in our assigned dining room/rotation. They were, so Disney was able to rearrange the table assignments and it worked out great. Therefore, if you have a particular server you want, or a particular type of server you want (or don't want), then check out the navigator when you board to find out where dining requests can be made (it is usually Rockin Bar D). Our experience is that Disney will work with you to the extent it can.

Re: Hyatt/bag transfers: You may read conflicting reports on this, but here is our experience: This was the third time that we stayed at the Hyatt and had our luggage transported by the hotel to the ship. Each time, we did NOT have Disney transfers and we did NOT pay any money for the bag transfers. We just simply told the front desk that we were going on the Disney cruise the next morning and taking our own transportation, but would like to have our bags transfered by the Hyatt. Each time we were instructed to tag our bags with the Disney tags that came with our documents, and leave the bags outside the room by 8:30 am on Saturday. Each time, the bags were picked up and delivered to the ship. We have had other families that traveled with us that have also done the same thing each time. Again, we were told each time that we did not have to pay for this service. FYI- the last two times we stayed at the Hyatt, we received a card asking those who were taking their own transportation to take their bags with them, but each time we simply asked, we were assured that it would be no problem (and no cost) to have our bags transferred to the ship while we took our own transporation. So, just ask at the Hyatt when you check in, or call beforehand to confirm whether you can do this.

02-28-2006, 07:35 PM
We then walked to Le Galion beach and met our friends. This was a very nice and family friendly beach. We then did some shopping in Phillipsburg, and then walked back to the ship. .

Thanks for all the great information. We leave for our Eastern in 18 days.

Can you tell me how you would get to this beach from the ship. Did it seem as though they might have good snorkeling? Was there a fee for entrance to the beach? Our party will have 3 little girls, 1yo, 2yo, and 4you. We want a nice family beach that is not to hard to get to.

Thanks for all the info.

02-28-2006, 10:54 PM
Le Galion beach has no fee. You can get there easily by taking a taxi when you dock in Phillipsburg. The taxi rates are posted, and I believe it was $7.00 per person one way. Just tell them where you want to go. We arranged to have our taxi driver pick us up, as the beach was at the end of a remote road and we wanted to be sure to have a ride back. We chose this beach because it was very close to the horse stable where we went riding, but also because I had read some reviews stating that it was a good family beach. The beach was very nice, especially for younger children because the water is very calm and there is a very long sandbar so that there is no steep drop off. Also, it is not crowded because it is off the beaten path. You can also rent chairs and umbrellas that they set up for you. There is also a small restaurant that serves hot dogs, chicken, snacks, etc. We did not snorkel, but we did see some snorkelers beyond the sandbar. It appeared that there might be some interesting things to see if you snorkeled out there.

Have a great trip, and feel free to ask any other questions.

03-01-2006, 07:47 AM
Great trip report! Thanks!

03-13-2006, 07:40 PM
Discruisers4 Thanks for your report!!! I had subscribed to your thread previously... whereabouts you answered someone's question about transfers at MCO Hyatt if you are not taking the shuttle... and have been wondering how your latest trip would be, as you stated in that thread that you were traveling in FEB 06. WE are coming in to MCO Hyatt the night before our cruise and have a rental car booked for the morning of the cruise, as we will be travelling to WDW for 6 days after our Wonder Cruise. I SOOOOOOOO don't want to deal with lugging our luggage out to Dollar Rental car on the morning of our cruise...... yet, I am so leary and scared that what WORKED for you, WON'T work for us and I will get stuck with NO luggage for 4 days. Is is really as smooth as it appears for your family??? ANd, do you know WHY they would bother to transfer our luggage if they don't transfer us? I WANT to believe,.... I just feel a bit scared. thanks :confused3 :hourglass

03-14-2006, 09:25 AM
All I can say is that we've done this three times, and each time we checked in (including Feb. 6th), we asked at the front desk and explained our situation. Each time, we were told that we could tag our bags and leave them outside our room by 8:30 am, which we did. Each time, they showed up in our room on the ship. By the way, the card we received at the front desk last time requested that people with non-DCL transfers take their own bags. However, the Hyatt assured us again that we could transport only our bags despite what the card requested. I can also say that, each time, we have traveled with other families who all did the same thing, and no one ever had any problem whatsoever.

It would make no sense for the Hyatt to tell you to tag and put your bags outside the room, collect them as they promised, and then not transport them to the ship. The Hyatt does not want to incur that liability. Therefore, I strongly suggest that you simply explain that you are taking a Disney cruise the next morning, but that you are taking your own transportation (i.e., non DCL transfers) to the port. Ask them about having the Hyatt transport only your bags, and then trust what they say. Of course, if they say that they no longer do this, then you have to bring your own bags. Also, I should mention that one time the Hyatt told us to talk to a DCL rep in the lobby on Saturday morning because there might be a charge for this service. However, when we spoke to the rep, he said there was no charge, and again all of our bags, and all of our friends' bags, showed up in our room on the ship. Good luck and have a great trip.

03-14-2006, 09:34 AM
One last point. I'm really not sure why the Hyatt is willing to do bag only transfers. It may be done simply as a courtesy because of their relationship with DCL. This may also be the reason why they do not openly promote it and, in fact, "ask" that you take your own bags if not taking DCL transfers. In any event, it is an extremely convenient service and, of course, the reason why we always choose the Hyatt, which, of course, makes the Hyatt happy too.